111 K Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
- Toll Free 1.888.564.6273
- Local 202.783.3870
As an American, it’s been extremely difficult to witness the events of the past few weeks.
The situation in Afghanistan has gone from bad to worse. American citizens and our Afghan allies are still trapped, with no clear way out, as the Taliban continues their takeover of the country.
But rather than addressing these problems as they began to develop, President Biden delayed making a statement until after the situation on the ground had already deteriorated.
The president’s failures have led some to characterize the fall of Kabul as “Biden’s Saigon.”
To be clear, withdrawing from Afghanistan was the right thing to do. Before the withdrawal disaster, Americans widely supported removing our troops from Afghanistan, and for good reason.
After nearly two decades of fighting, with more than 2,300 Americans killed and $2 trillion spent, it was time for this war to end. Withdrawing was the correct decision when President Trump began to finalize the terms of a treaty in 2020, and remains the correct decision now.
But the manner in which President Biden withdrew from Afghanistan is the real issue. The administration failed to secure crucial escape routes and left weapons behind that have since been seized by the Taliban.
The most obvious strategic error made during President Biden’s withdrawal was the closure of Bagram Air Base. This should’ve been the last American military installation to close, as it could have easily been used for evacuations.
Instead, it was shuttered and quickly taken over by the Taliban, leaving the Kabul airport as the only evacuation site.
Additionally, Biden's address to the American people arrived too late and did little to convince Americans that our country hadn't just been embarrassed on the international stage. Biden also refused to take questions from reporters, indicating to voters that he couldn’t defend his failed Afghanistan withdrawal without reading from a prepared speech.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi seemed to miss the point when she stated that “any political settlement that the Afghans pursue to avert bloodshed must include having women at the table." Should identity politics really be the first concern of our leaders when we’re watching a disaster unfold before our eyes?
Such a statement also forces us to ask how much Speaker Pelosi knows about the Taliban. Women are only allowed to leave their houses under the supervision of a male guardian in Taliban-controlled areas.
Does she really think women will possess any political power after a total Taliban takeover of Afghanistan?
In a similarly ridiculous statement, Press Secretary Jen Psaki remarked that the Taliban “has to make an assessment about what they want their role to be in the international community."
But what about the role of the United States in the international community? Millions of Americans want to know what this administration’s failures mean for our country going forward.
The people we should be holding accountable for these failures are those in the upper levels of the military and intelligence community — the same “experts” who Biden promised would bring America back and restore our nation’s image on the world stage. Remember when Joe Biden bragged that he would be bringing the "adults" back to the White House?
Just weeks ago, the Pentagon claimed that the Afghan capital of Kabul was in no immediate danger of falling to the Taliban. Days later, the Taliban were sitting in the presidential palace.
Individuals in the Biden administration must be held accountable so an intelligence failure like this doesn’t happen again.
And since nobody has been held accountable, it isn’t surprising that President Biden is currently experiencing his lowest approval rating since taking office. A new NBC poll found that just 49% of Americans approve of Biden’s presidency.
While it was certainly time for the United States to leave Afghanistan, Biden’s failed withdrawal will go down as a national disgrace. And as long as the individuals responsible for this disaster remain in the administration, Americans will continue to lose confidence in President Biden.
Adam Brandon is the president of FreedomWorks and the author of A Republic, Not a Democracy: How to Restore Sanity in America.